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The BBC's Ian Brown
"An ill-tempered confrontational second half"
 real 28k

Saturday, 12 February, 2000, 17:15 GMT
Kewell beauty wins ugly contest

Kewell heads the ball over Walker before scoring

Leeds 1-0 Tottenham

Title-chasing Leeds moved to within three points of leaders Manchester United with victory over Spurs in an ill-tempered match at Elland Road.

Harry Kewell secured the win with a stunning first-half goal - but his solo effort was eclipsed as the main talking point by an ugly stand-off between the teams just after half-time.

A brawl erupts as tempers reach breaking point
There has been no love lost in this fixture in recent years.

This time nine yellow cards were brandished and the only real surprise was that both sides finished the match with 11 men.

In injury time Chris Perry and Ian Harte were both somewhat fortunate not to be sent off, after the Spurs defender retailiated to being stamped on.

If it was a tense affair before the interval, the second half was characterised by a series of aggressive clashes.

That was a marvellous, battling performance by my team. We didn't cause all those incidents. We can't help it if people keep falling over - they can't have had the right studs on.
David O'Leary
Relations between the two clubs have virtually broken down since George Graham left Leeds to take over as Spurs manager.

And the inclusion of Willem Korsten for his full Spurs debut only exacerbated matters.

Dutchman Korsten, who was booed throughout by the home fans, was bought by Graham from under the nose of furious Leeds boss David O'Leary, who had brought him to Elland Road on loan.

Kewell stays cool

After a frenetic opening, Leeds went ahead in the 23rd minute through a combination of swift counter-attacking, rash defending and enlightened officialdom.

Ginola is felled by Bowyer, whose challenge sparked the clashes
When Kewell collected Jonathan Woodgate's long-ball just inside the Spurs half, his team-mate Alan Smith was clearly retreating from an offside position - but the linesman decided he was not interfering with play.

With the Tottenham defenders appealing for offside, Kewell kept his poise. He flicked the ball over Walker, who had sprinted wildly out of his area, and then turned inside Sol Campbell before side-footing into an empty net.

Leeds were now in complete control and they laid siege to the visitors for the rest of the first half.

The Spurs defence was frequently wrong-footed by Leeds' imaginative attacks - and they were fortunate to reach the break only 1-0 down.

Smith, in particular, was a livewire presence up front, creating a string of chances out of nothing.

First he spooned the ball over the bar after turning his marker, then he held off Perry's challenge before sending an angled shot just wide and another effort was held by a diving Walker.

Spurs may have offered little in attack but out of the blue Chris Armstrong had a chance to equalise in first half injury time - only to slice his shot woefully wide after being sent clear.


The match erupted into indiscipline after the break.

Bowyer sparked a stand-off between both sets of players when he slid in to tackle Stephen Clemence with his studs showing.

Incensed Spurs players, led by David Ginola, raced over and various tussles broke out all over the pitch.

Referee Dermot Gallagher eventually restored calm - but tempers were near boiling point, particularly after Lee Bowyer was only booked for his part in the flashpoint and Perry - who appeared to lash out at an opponent - escaped with a lecture.

All meaningful action subsided for a long period, as the match became dominated by further petulant clashes between the teams - many of them involving Ginola.

Duberry did put the ball into the Spurs net - but his effort was ruled out for offside.

In the closing stages Spurs at last began to encroach into opposition territory - and the visitors again thought Leeds should have had a player sent off when Gary Kelly brought down Ginola as the Frenchman raced through on goal, but a booking was the predictable outcome.

There was no way back for toothless Tottenham and Leeds held on for a deserved win.


Leeds: Martyn, Kelly, Woodgate, Duberry, Harte, Bowyer, Bakke, Jones, Wilcox, Smith, Kewell.
Subs: Haaland, Huckerby, Mills, Maybury, Robinson.

Tottenham: Walker, Carr, Perry, Campbell, Taricco, Anderton, Sherwood, Clemence, Ginola, Korsten, Armstrong.
Subs: Scales, Dominguez, Young, Nielsen, Baardsen.

Referee: D Gallagher (Banbury)

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Links to other FA Carling Premiership stories are at the foot of the page.